The Gathering (1977 film)

The Gathering is a 1977 American made-for-television movie about a dying executive who arranges a final Christmas reunion with his estranged wife and adult children. It was directed by Randal Kleiser and stars Edward Asner and Maureen Stapleton.[1]

1977 American television drama film directed by Randal Kleiser
The Gathering
Genre Drama
Written by James Poe
Directed by Randal Kleiser
Starring Edward Asner
Maureen Stapleton
Rebecca Balding
Sarah Cunningham
Bruce Davison
Veronica Hamel
Gregory Harrison
James Karen
Lawrence Pressman
John Randolph
Gail Strickland
Edward Winter
Stephanie Zimbalist
Composer John Barry
Country of origin United States
Original language English
Executive producer Joseph Barbera
Producer Harry R. Sherman
Production locations Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Hudson, Ohio
Cinematography Dennis Dalzell
Editor Allan Jacobs
Running time 94 minutes
Production company Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Worldvision Enterprises
Original network ABC
Picture format Color
Audio format Mono
Original release
  • December 4, 1977 (1977-12-04)

. . . The Gathering (1977 film) . . .

Adam Thornton (Edward Asner), an ill-tempered executive who walked out on his family, learns that he only has a little time left to live. He decides that he wants to make peace with them and have one last reunion. He confides this information to his estranged wife, Kate (Maureen Stapleton). But when his doctor says that it won’t be good for him to travel, she suggests that he should call his four adult children and invite them all for Christmas.

He agrees only with the provision that they not be told of his illness and imminent death. The only problem is that most of them are not exactly fond of him because he walked out on Kate and has a stubborn nature. Of them, he is most nervous about seeing Bud (Gregory Harrison), whom he hasn’t spoken to since having an argument with him regarding the Vietnam War and his move to Canada several years before.

The film was followed by the 1979 sequel The Gathering, Part II, which picked up two years after Adam’s death (Asner did not appear in it), and largely concerned Kate’s relationship with a new man (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.).[2]

  • Nomination for and won Emmy for Outstanding Special Drama or Comedy
  • Nomination for Emmy – Outstanding Art Direction for a Dramatic Special Jan Scott (art director) Anne D. McCulley (set Director)
  • Nomination for Emmy – Outstanding Directing in a Special Program Drama or Comedy
  • Nomination for Emmy – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special Maureen Stapleton
  • Outstanding Writing in a Special Program Drama or Comedy James Poe (writer)

The film was released on DVD in Christmas 2009 by Warner Archive. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available through Warner’s online store and

. . . The Gathering (1977 film) . . .

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. . . The Gathering (1977 film) . . .

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